Bhakti Inc. said its ready-to-drink iced chai beverages are expected to be fully certified as organic and carry the USDA’s organic seal by the end of the year.
Boulder, Colo.-based Bhakti, a Certified B Corp. since July 2012, produces and markets a full line of Non-GMO Project Verified and Fair Trade Certified artisan dry teas and chai concentrate and RTD iced chai in bottles. The company recently introduced a line of Iced Chai with Cashewmilk. A line of sparkling teas was discontinued in the fall of 2017.
The company has always used organic and Fair Trade Certified ingredients such as organic ginger, black tea and sugar, Mark Osborne, senior vice president of operations, explained to Sustainable Food News, but the spice blend it imported from India was not certified as organic, which has kept the USDA’s organic label from its products,
However, that recently changed now that Bhakti has secured a source of certified-organic spice blend from India, Osbourne said. The company’s organic certification was granted in December from Oregon Tilth Certified Organic.
The Chai Concentrate products are now getting certified as organic and the line of RTD iced chai beverages will be certified by the end of the year, Osbourne said.
Bhakti’s products are sold at Whole Foods Markets, natural and independent markets, Costco, Kroger, Target and cafés nationwide.
In related news, Bhakti recently raised $2.2 million in its latest equity offering. In August 2017, Bhakti raised $5.3 million in an equity offering with 10 investors participating in the round. In February 2015, Bhakti raised $4.9 million in an equity offering with two investors participating in the round. The company used $1.5 million of the proceeds to redeem stock from Brook Eddy and other stockholders.
Bhakti was founded in 2007 by Brook Eddy, who, after traveling to India to research a movement based on the principles of Bhakti, or “devotion through social action,” developed her own chai recipe, which she began bottling and selling throughout Boulder. Eddy will serve as chairwoman of the company’s board.
Eddy stepped down as CEO in 2016 and was replaced by Sarah Bird, former chief marketing officer of iconic organic brand, Annie’s Homegrown. Eddy remains on Bhakti’s board as does John Foraker, the former president of Annie’s and current CEO of organic baby food brand, Once Upon a Farm LLC, which he joined last year.
VIDEO: Watch how Bhakti’s social giving platform helps women